A place in the fourth round of the FA Cup is not the only thing on the line for Nicky Adams when Cobblers head north to Burton Albion on Sunday.
There’s also the small matter of trying to get one over a former team-mate and long-time friend as he goes up against John-Joe O’Toole.
O’Toole’s goals and Adams’ assists were instrumental when Chris Wilder’s Cobblers romped to the League Two title in 2015/16.
The pair won 18 and lost just three of the 29 games they started together during that season, but come Sunday they’ll be on opposite sides as the FA Cup takes centre stage.
“Of course I’m looking forward to it,” said Adams. “I’m good friends with John-Joe and he’s been a really good pal of mine.
“He’s a great lad and he was a really good servant to Northampton Town so it’ll be brilliant to see him.
“I’ve already had a message off him telling me he’s going to kick lumps out of me!”
Having not played at all over Christmas due to suspension, O’Toole’s first game back, should he be selected, will be against the Cobblers this weekend.
Adams and O’Toole will no doubt have plenty of catching up to do before and after Sunday’s tie but, more importantly for both, it’s an opportunity to reach the fourth round of the FA Cup, something the Cobblers have not achieved for 16 years.
“We’ll be really good friends before the game and I’m sure there’ll be plenty of hugs but on that pitch he’s going to want to win and so am I,” added Adams.
“After the game we’ll be all smiles again but both of us know that the winner of the game might get a good tie in the next round so it’s important for both clubs.”
Striker Andy Williams also played alongside O'Toole last season and he too is looking forward to meeting up with the midfielder.
"I know John-Joe's there now and you keep an eye on their results when a former team-mate goes places," he said.
"I've not been in contact with him since the draw. I spoke to him in the summer but not since then.
"Unfortunately sometimes in football you pass each other in different ways but he's a good lad and I got on well with him so I'm sure we'll have a good chat on Sunday.
"I think they're doing all right as well and they play a bit of football so it'll be interesting and a good test for us and both teams will look at it as a good chance to reach the next round."